Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Holy Mackerel!

Actually, this is a sardine.

Tanner loves sardines!

Once a week, Tanner gets a couple whole frozen sardines for breakfast. It is pretty funny to watch him carry them down to the bottom part of the yard to eat. Of course, I couldn't get a good picture of him carrying the sardines because he runs down there and starts chowing down immediately!

The omega-3 oils in the fish are good for his skin and coat. Plus, I like having some variety in his diet. Since he really loves the fish, it would make a great jackpot for training as long as I don't let it thaw!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Problem Solving

Each dog has their unique way of approaching and solving a problem. Food toys are a great way to observe a dogs reaction and problem solving skills. Tug A Jug is a food toy my friend Tamara gave to my dogs. It has proved hours of enjoyment for the dogs and for me as well watching their ability to figure out how to earn the reward/food.

Tug A Jug

The bottom screws off, kibble or small treats are placed inside and the bottom is reattached. The food comes out the top. The dogs can carry the toy around by the rope but it blocks the food from coming out the top. So the best way to get the food is tip the bottle over without holding the rope.

Whisper quickly learned to step on the rope and spin the toy around her foot. The food would come out but in the process she would step off the toy to eat the food. Then she would have to restart the process again and again.

Echo on the other hand simply pushes the toy all around the yard, jumping on it, standing on it and pushing it with her nose. All of these efforts make noise which she likes and makes the toy spin away from her. She and the toy will go all around the yard during the process. It takes quite a while to get all the treats out of the toy.

Lyric has the most efficient style of all. She simply lays on the lawn, picks the jug up in her mouth and shakes the treats out. Quick efficient minimal energy exerted and she is ready for more.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Movie Star

Due to her recent celebrity status Becca has had to start going out in disguise. Because of her responsiveness to strangers, trainablity and photogenic appearance, she has gotten a call to another photo shot. Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Light!! Camera!! Action!! Becca Does Hollywood (By Donna aka Becca's Stage Mom)

I received an e-mail via my obedience club that an agency was looking for a greyhound to be in a Comcast website filming that will be used at their trade shows. I promptly sent off photos and Becca was selected!! Her role was to run across a 60-ft stage so they could film her in action.

The film people wanted the lighting and every foot step just perfect so this involved MANY re-takes, but no problem for her, especially with her energy level. After a couple of short practice runs, Gregg (from the animal agency) held her at one end of the stage, and I did an obedience recall toward me. She continued to run toward me enthusiastically through ALL the re-takes. A couple of times as she was running by the camera which was on a set of tracks parallel to where she was running, her head turned and she looked directly at the camera with a big smile on her face and never missed a step.

When the crew replayed it, there was much laughing about her "look at me" attitude!! They were able to replay a couple of the takes for me--these were in slow motion--seeing a Greyhound run like that is pure poetry in motion and it means even more when that Greyhound is your loving companion. It was such a fun day, and I was so proud of Becca and her performance--she received a round of applause from the crew when we finished up with the filming.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Echo's RA title

We entered another obedience/rally trial with Davis Dog Training Club in Dixon. The grounds were a nice quiet residential park. She did well and earned her third RA leg with a 96. All in all she was a bit less motivated and laggy than two weeks earlier. Still she tried and until the Come Front and Heel Right sign only had a few lags. On that sign she got confused, came in front and then started back into heel position on the left. So a redo cost us 3 pts. All in all though a good trial.